Saturday, November 02, 2013

Random Acts of Trivia #3: The Monkees!

Some stuff that's been stuck in my head for a while that I figured I'd go ahead and share!

  1. An unsubstantiated rumor has it that the infamous Charles Manson was one of those who auditioned for the Monkees. Stephen Stills did, however!
  2. Michael Nesmith had been recording before being cast as a Monkee, using the name "Michael Blessing." Mark Evanier came across a video on YouTube with a pre-Monkee Mike performing under that name!
  3. Speaking of Mike, most people probably know this already, but Mike's mother was the inventor of Liquid Paper! Invention was apparently in the blood, as Mike's credited with creating MTV.
  4. The Monkees' third album, Headquarters, was not only the first album that they made on their own without Don Kirschner, but it also outsold their first two albums!
  5. Before being booted as the musical director of the Monkees, Don Kirschner brought "Sugar, Sugar" to the Monkees for them to record. As you might have guessed, after his split from the Monkees, he got the gig at Filmation to be the musical supervisor for their upcoming Archie cartoon.
  6. Although it was critically reviled in its original release, the Monkees' movie Head is today considered to be at least a cult classic. The film's deconstruction of the Monkees' TV image was probably a bit too much for the fans of their show to deal with at the time.
  7. More panned (and in my opinion, rightly so) was the Monkees' TV special "33 & 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee." While there are bright spots in this special, overall it's a pretty big mess, with the end sequence starting out good (with the Monkees performing Mike's "Listen to the Band"), but as soon as someone shows up on stage with a sign proclaiming, "He's really playing that!" (or words to that effect) it goes back downhill fast.
  8. The Monkees TV show has probably aired on more networks than just about any other show, with the possible exception of Scooby-Doo (and that's if you count all the incarnations as one show). Obviously, it debuted on NBC, and then later aired on ABC and CBS on Saturday mornings (in different seasons, obviously), as well as MTV (which sparked a reinterest in the Monkees at the time). One might also count "Retro TV" as a network, which is currently airing reruns of the show.
  9. Davy Jones also performed on the episode of the Ed Sullivan Show that more or less was the Beatles' debut on American TV! Davy was part of a touring cast for Oliver!, I believe he played the Artful Dodger. In a later interview, Davy claimed that when he saw the Beatles performing, he said to himself, "That's what I want to do."
  10. Speaking of Davy, due to his popularity, a later rock and roll musician whose birth name was David Jones had to change his name before making his recording debut. That musician? David Bowie!

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